Ajit Andhare is the new chief operating officer of Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. He replaces Vikram Malhotra who resigned a month ago.
Andhare's mandate will be to drive growth and profitability of Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. He says, "The fundamentals of the motion picture business in India is improving with the growth in digital distribution, multiplex screens, emerging digital platforms and, above all, the success of high content cinema."
Andhare has 17 years of experience in FMCG and media. He began his career with Hindustan Unilever and worked there for a dozen years in different roles in sales, general management and marketing. When he quit the company in 2007 to start his own venture, he was the regional brand activation director, APAC.
Andhare and Network 18 have been familiar with each other since 2007 when he started his own venture, Colosceum, which is in the business of conceptualising and creating multimedia assets. The business was funded by Capital 18, the group's investment arm, which owns the bulk of the stake.
Viacom18 Motion Pictures in last two years has produced several hits such as Tanu Weds Manu, Pyaar Ka Punchnama, Shaitan, Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur, OMG - Oh My God!, Son of Sardaar, Special 26 and Saheb Biwi Gangster Returns. The upcoming films from the production house are Bhag Milkha Bhag, Madras Café and Boss.
The company has formed a strategic alliance with Paramount Pictures and released some of the biggest Hollywood films in India such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol.